Prices after GST soar

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Prices after GST soar

ISLAMABAD - AHMAD AHMADANI - The PML-Nís newly elected government has increased GST (general sales tax), which can hike the prices of essential commodities. The prices of petrol, CNG and many items of daily use have, in fact, already been raised on the very second day to the presentation of budget 2013-14.

The PML-N government in its first budget on Wednesday had proposed increasing the GST from current 16 percent to 17 percent, bring a shock to the already over-burdened masses. The price of fuel is expected to increase further in the coming days.

Following the announcement by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in the lower house of the parliament, the FBR (federal board of revenue), without wasting single moment, issued notification of increase in GST effective from June 13, instead of July 1. The traders and shopkeepers had started overpricing even before the budget was presented.

The Ogra (Oil and gas Regulatory Authority) too immediately dispatched a summary recommending up revision of POL products price to the ministry of petroleum and natural resources (MPNR) and the ministry on Thursday issued a notification of up to Rs1.35/litre raise in the per litre prices of petroleum commodities, which would be effective immediately across the country.

As per ministryís notification, with raise of Rs0.86/litre, the price of petrol has gone up to Rs100.63 from an earlier price of Rs99.77. The price of diesel (high speed diesel) has been increased by 90 paisas to Rs105.50 while earlier it was Rs104.60/litre. The price of light diesel oil (LDO) after a hike of Rs0.65 paisas has shoot up to Rs89.90/litre and price of Kerosene oil was raised to Rs94.49/litre from Rs93.79/litre with effect to Rs0.80/litre. Similarly, the per litre price of high octane blended component (HOBC) has witnessed a price hike of Rs1.35/litre. The new price of HOBC would stand at Rs136.30/litre.

The per kilogram prices of compressed natural gas (CNG) have also witnessed a hike up to Rs0.47/kg immediately following the government decision. Due to the raise in sales tax, the CNG price for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Potohar and Balochistan region has hiked by Rs0.47/kg. For Punjab and Sindh regions, Rs0.40/kg price increase has been approved with immediate effect. After a hike of Rs0.47/kg, the CNG would now be available at Rs74.91/kg in Region-I. In region-II, the price will be Rs66.18/kg, after a raise of Rs0.41/kg.

Last but not the least, according to the sources in water and power ministry, the PML-N-led government has also devised a plan to end the tariff subsidy of electricity in phase wise, besides slashing subsidy of power sector by 37percent in the federal budget as compared with previous yearís allocation. Under the plan, already sky rocketing power tariff would further witness a hike ranging betweenRs2/unit to Rs2.50/unit from July. In first phase, power consumers would be benefited with a tariff subsidy of Rs100billion while there is a fear that there would be no subsidy for those electricity consumers using above 500units in a month.

Courtesy: †Nation

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